The New Year usually brings a fresh slate of goals and intentions. For an athlete, your goals should focus your energy on the direction you want to go – the goals you want to achieve. It’s not just the goal that’s important, but the overall big picture. Each year gives you a fresh start to create goals that are attainable and SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive).
Here are some suggestions on what kind of SMART goals to set for the New Year and how to make them even smarter:
Be specific! Don’t just say you’re going to do something, but make the commitment. Many people get scattered and try to focus on too many things, and then succeed at none. If you want to finish a triathlon, find one that you want to participate in and sign up for it, then do the research about the race so you know what kind of training you need to do to be prepared for the race. This gives you a clear, specific idea of how to achieve your goal.
A measurable goal allows you to work towards a goal with a yes or no answer to the question, “Have I reached my goal?” Small goals that are measurable allow a definitive yes or no to the question, ‘Have I reached my goal?’ For example, ‘I want to train three times a week between now and March’ is measurable.
An achievable goal can – and should – be challenging. It should scare you a little, but also be something that also excites you and is a goal that makes sense. You should be able to achieve it without getting yourself injured.
A realistic goal should be one that fits into your immediate and long-term plans – but also one that fits your lifestyle. If your everyday life is going to be chaotic during race season, maybe participating in a higher race distance isn’t realistic.
5. Time Sensitive
Most people work best under a deadline, so give yourself a deadline! But in order to complete your goal, you need to have a specific timeline. Being vague will not help you reach your goal. For example, signing up for a triathlon in July is much more specific and easier to accomplish than “wanting to do a triathlon next year.”
So your first goal before the New Year is to create your SMART goals, but then make sure you are regularly re-evaluating them. Should you adjust your goals? Have your priorities changed? Did your work obligations increase? Goals are supposed to help you to keep progressing and pushing yourself, but also need to fit into your current lifestyle.
Contact me today if you need help working on your SMART goals for the New Year. I can help you create your goals and help you achieve each and every one.
Train Right, Tri Right